Henry, was a serial killer movie that was so convincingly real, it took five years to make it to the big screen.
Serial killers became big news in the 1990s, thanks to the enormous success of some of the other movies on this list (and the capture of Jeffrey Dahmer, and similar real-life cases), but “Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer” was ahead of the curve in more ways than one. Shot in 1985 but unable to find distribution for a further five years due to its controversial nature and bloody violence, John McNaughton’s film, based loosely on real-life killer Henry Lee Lucas, is a low-key movie following the titular murderer (Michael Rooker) on a Chicago killing spree with his prison friend Otis (Tom Towles), and beginning a faltering romance with Otis’ sister Becky (Tracy Arnold).
So stripped down and brutal that it comes close to being unwatchable in places (aside from its ratings problems in the U.S., it was heavily cut in the U.K., and banned entirely in New Zealand), the film finds its power by stripping every hint of glamor or romance from both the serial killer picture or the lovers-on-the-run movie. Henry, as embodied by the utterly chilling Rooker, is a totally authentic psychopath, a world away from the urbane Dr. Lecter or the star-crossed Mickey & Mallory that followed in his bloody wake, and he’s all the more terrifying as a result.
I don't know if you'll thank me, but this movie will terrify you for sure.